HEKA's first fully computer controlled multi-electrode clamp amplifier 'iTEV 90' is a complete two-electrode voltage and current clamp amplifier providing the option to add a third electrode.
Two-electrode voltage-clamp (TEV) of Xenopus laevis oocytes is easily applied for the rapid screening of ion channel function, in particular in pharmacological experiments. However, conventional TEV hardware is not straightforwardly operated by technical personnel because adjustment of the electronics requires considerable practical experience. Moreover, the faithful interpretation of experimental data is often compromised by an incomplete control of all physical parameters determining the voltage clamp performance. HEKA therefore designed and implemented a hardware/software combination with HEKA's new LIH 8+8 AD/DA interface built-in. This arrangement minimizes total recording noise, eliminates compatibility problems and reduces additional equipment expenses and set-up times. The built-in interface utilizes the latest USB 2.0 and high speed processing technologies without the need for a peripheral PCI card.
The iTEV 90 provides complete software control featuring full digital calibration and tuning as well as automatic operation via the electrophysiological data acquisition software PATCHMASTER.
The iTEV 90 combines automation for ease of use with the capability of a detailed investigation of the measurement configuration and recording. Many operations can be automated in order to speed up experiment and more important guarantee a reproducible operation of the amplifier. At the same time all parameters of the amplifier and data acquisition system are stored with the data for later review. The iTEV 90 further more allows to monitor raw signals from various points in the amplifier circuitry.
With the iTEV 90 we introduce a method for automated clamp parameter adjustment on basis on a network analysis of the individual measuring configuration. This assures stable and reproducible settings of clamp gain and integrator time constant.
The iTEV 90 offers the option for use of a third current electrode which can be used for various purposes: